Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia | Geelong (Victoria, Australia)
- Organised: 1858
- Elders: Rev. Andrew Stewart, David Feldman, Joshua Feldman & Joshua McEwen
- Members: 108 Communicant, 59 Baptized
Geelong RPC was founded in 1858 by Alexander McIlwaine Moore, a missionary ordained and sent forth by the Reformed Presbyterian Synod of Ireland. Under Rev. Moore’s leadership, the church building in which we continue to worship today was completed in 1862.
The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia remained under the umbrella of the RPCI until 1974, when it became its own denomination. The RPCA currently consists of one presbytery incorporating three congregations: Geelong, Frankston and McKinnon.
About Geelong RPC
Geelong is the second largest city in Victoria, located on Corio Bay on the South West coast, about an hour’s drive from the state capital of Melbourne. The population is over 250,000. Our church building is located in the centre of Geelong, making it accessible to members from all over Geelong and surrounds.
Geelong is home to people from many different countries, backgrounds, demographics, and occupations, and this is reflected in the membership of our congregation. Geelong RPC is multigenerational, encompassing members of many ages and demographics–young families and children, older people, young adults, students (both at school and university), school teachers, tradespeople, medical and aged care workers, etc.
Our current pastor is Rev. Andrew Stewart, who accepted the call and moved from Northern Ireland in 1998 to serve in our congregation. He and his wife, Katie, have two adult children. We are blessed to have such a faithful minister of the Word and servant of Christ pastoring in Geelong RPC. His ministry has been fruitful in Geelong, growing and strengthening our congregation over the 23 years he has been with us. As well as ministering at Geelong RPC, Rev. Stewart is also a part-time New Testament lecturer at the Reformed Theological College.
Worship and Ministry
Before the pandemic, we held Sunday School, adult Bible class and prayer meeting before the Lord’s Day morning worship service, and then met again in the evening for worship. We met via Zoom for approximately ten months following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. We missed in-person fellowship but were thankful to have technology that enabled us to continue meeting remotely and that allowed those further afield to join in our services. Worshipping online also meant that we have been able to meet for combined presbytery-wide services in the evenings. It has been a real blessing to be able to worship and fellowship with the Frankston and McKinnon congregations so regularly.
Onsite morning services resumed in early January 2021. Although they look a bit different to our regular services due to ongoing government restrictions, we rejoice to be back worshipping together in person! Our evening services continue online for the time being.
Throughout the week, we have several Bible study groups that meet in members’ homes, as well as a weekly prayer meeting. These were held online throughout 2020, as was our Youth Group, which maintained a diligent and fun ministry to our young people throughout the year. Other ministries, including worship services in a local aged care facility and school holiday programmes, have been on hold since the outbreak of the pandemic.
During 2020, we began to think more about how we as a church can be actively discipling each other and others. To that end, we met over Zoom to discuss how we can do this better and have been considering what discipleship looks like in practical ways.
We are back to onsite worship for our 10:30 am Lord’s Day services, and visitors are most welcome! This service is also available online, as is our evening service. We are still using Zoom at the moment, but we hope to have a livestream up and running very soon. For more information, you can visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Give thanks for the unity and harmony which has prevailed through the disruptions of lockdown. May this continue as we begin to gather again for worship and fellowship.
- Give thanks for those who have worshipped with us online during the lockdown. Give thanks for those who have come to faith through that ministry and those who are considering the claims of the gospel. Pray that new believers would be incorporated into the congregation as we start gathering again.
- We have only three ruling elders and keenly feel the need for more. The lockdown has placed many additional demands on the men who serve as elders. Pray that our ongoing training would equip men for eldership.
- Pray that the streaming of our worship services will reach many more people with the gospel.
- Give thanks for the opportunities to share the gospel through Christianity Explained programmes (online and onsite). Pray for follow up and conversions.
Special thanks to the Bessie Mikelsons for compiling this information for the RP family around the world. Bessie grew up in the Geelong RPC and is thankful to be part of this congregation and denomination serving the Lord in Australia. If you want to see your congregation featured here, get in touch through our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!